Response to an Insta-Reader

Glenn Reynolds has posted a letter here from a friend in Central Asia who is curious about the US response to the Uzbek uprising. Here is my response to his letter:

Glenn, I want to share my thoughts to the email you posted a bit ago today:

Can democrats get excited about freedom?

That won’t happen for a couple of reasons. First, they don’t want to admit the “Bush Doctrine” is “right” because it is the “Bush” Doctrine. Second, can you imagine a democrat today that would have this daring an international policy? With the current democrat party leadership, the odds of that decreases by the day.

The Bush Administration did come out and condemn the violence in Uzbekistan. Condoleezza Rice did so yesterday while in Iraq and I have also seen another condemn the violence (in the video here I have posted today). It was not easy putting together the events of the last few days for anyone inside or outside the country (although expert blogger Nathan at the Registan has done an exceptional job!). The Uzbek Government imposed a media blackout after the incident, did not let reporters in, and played music and movies on the BBC and other western news channels inside the country. I was passed one email from a person in western Uzbekistan who was not able to get the news from Andijan because of the blackout and was screaming for information. The government has even blocked some internet sites like the BBC.

So,… did the US know that Karimov was a thug? Yes, I suspect so. Did they persuade his government towards democratic change? Yes. Did they yesterday in statements? Yes… Did they know (seeing the future is something that liberals demand of a Republican Administration) that Karimov would be behind the slaughter of hundreds of innocents in a town plaza, mowing them down like “rabbits” ? …No!

The US also has appreciated how great an ally Pakistan has been since 9-11. Pakistan has it’s fair share of problems. Should the US pull out of there, as well? Hell No!

Also, how about Kyrgyzstan? The US had an airfield contract there as well, but could not be happier for the Kyrgyz people today after the overthrow of that government.

And, even though the US has a contract with Karimov, they have set aside funds to support the Uzbek Opposition all along.

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